Saturday, August 27, 2011

Smile Now, Cry Later

Hello girls and boys (if there are any of you men-folk reading this),

I would like to have a chit-chat with you. This is a little awkward, so pull up a chair, grab a box of tissues, and make sure to draw on your eyebrows a little more sad today. I have something to tell you that is rarely discussed in Sweepstake Land.

Sweepstakes can cost you money.

Whaaaat? It's true. Sad hobo face.

Is it still worth it? Most of the time, yes.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Freakin Weekend Dealio's

Ed Hardy Parfum on sale on Amazon!
I personally LOVE this Ed Hardy Parfum on Amazon. It smells sooo good and totally covers up that "didn't shower" smell. It is now ONLY $37.15 with shipping where it sells for $75 at Macy*s!

Canon PowerShot A495 in Blue on sale on Amazon!

Do you need a camera to spy on celebrities or catch a cheating lover in the act or take hideous pictures of your ex-best friend who stole your boyfriend and post them all over FB?? Well, Canon Powershot A495 Design (Blue only) is on Amazon, temporarily marked down from $109 to $69 (including shipping)

Build-a-Freaking-Bear coupon

Those of you with kiddos and money to spend on dressing up bears and crap, here is a coupon to Build-a-Bear Workshop good thru September 6, 2011!
One $5 off $25 or $10 off $40...

Office Depot coupons (some restrictions apply)
Use this link for a $20 off of your $100 purchase to Office Depot coupon . It's "Back to School" time again and I'm sure most of you could easily spend $100 at Office Depot. I know I will use it on printer ink (not valid for HP ink though)!

Free Rayovac Batteries at TargetIf you go to Rayovac and "like" their Facebook page, they are always offering free coupons and sweepstakes... For example, right now they have $1 off any size batteries coupon, and usually you can find packs at Target around $1 which would result in free batteries! :)

Free Wal-Mart Samples
Here are some free samples from Wal-Mart. Usually you can find anything from poise pads to deodorant to toothpaste!
And if you are one of those "I hate Wal-Mart people", then stick it to them by getting free samples and coupons from them! Ha! They have all kinds of free gems for people with urinary incontinence right now (that means you.)

20% Kohls Coupon, good for this weekend only!Going to Kohls this weekend? No? Well you better! Go ahead and print this 20% off Kohl’s coupon valid on all regular, sale, and clearance merchandise.
Coupon expires 8/27/2011.

~Charlotte the Whore(der)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Dirty Thirty

There is a Friends and Family printable Old Navy 30% coupon valid thru August 25-28. If you prefer to shop online and avoid the teeny-bop craziness of the mall, then you can use the coupon code THANKS. And as always, shipping is free on purchases over $50. There are some exclusions (aren't there always?), but you should be able to get 30% off most of your purchase.

Don't forget our good 'ol friend Ebates which offers 2% back.  It seems that they are also offering $5 instant cash back when you register for a new account! Take advantage Whore(der)s!


Pictures from Flip Flops & Gender...

Get the Balance Right

I'm going to say something that might be shocking - I'm not cheap. I am the black sheep of this Whoreder family, because I love splurging and will never be described as frugal. So what, you may be asking, am I doing here? Over the last few years I've been much more responsible with my money and spending choices. Before running out and buying something, I research it and try to get a second "do I need this?" opinion. And if I still really need to have it, I'll look for deals or coupons before committing to buy anything. Of course, I've had some slips, like spending my last $20 on a plate of Gorgonzola gnocchi instead of saving it for gas money. But for the most part, I've made a lot of progress. The biggest reward I've seen (aside from a healthier 401k) is a much improved credit score, from the you-gotta-be-kidding-me low 600s to the you-go-girl mid 700s. For the first time since... ever, I no longer have bad credit shame!
So while I'm learning to make better choices about not overspending, today I learned that the perils of underspending. I popped into my local CVS for Red Vine fix and got the urge to buy some new nail polish. I had coupons for two different brands, but rather than work out which was the better deal my eyes zeroed in on a bargain brand for $1.99 - huzzah! Or so I thought...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Banana "Ice Cream": A cheap and magical treat

My summer of 2011 brought a few culinary firsts: My first trip to the famous Rockaway Beach (and hence, Rockaway Taco), my first "Iced Coffee Sangria" (which an eager barista talked me into on a 90 degree day), my first time cooking with Herbes de Provence and Himalayan pink salt (both from the bargain shelf o' kitchen delights at Marshall's. How could I resist?), and my first taste of Crystal Light's new Lime Maragarita flavor (still on the fence abut this one. Hint: tequila helps). I know, it is an exciting and whirlwind life that I lead.

One of my favorite foodie firsts this summer also happens to be one of the simplest concoctions ever. Banana ice cream! Churning frozen bananas into ice cream is not a new discovery but it sure was to me when I picked up the idea somewhere along the blogosphere. Here's what you do: throw frozen, peeled bananas, unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Trader Joe's because it's organic and like $2) and a splash of milk (I've even used water or a bit of french vanilla coffee creamer in a pinch.You cannot mess this up!) in a blender or food processer (no fancy machine with a corny name neccasary). You can add more cocoa powder if you want it super chocolate-y and less banana-y. If you are feeling decadent, you could even toss in some chocolate chips, dried cherries, peanut butter or almonds before serving. I've made this several times a week all summer long. Obsessed. Even my boyfriend loves it and his idea of healthy food is putting ranch dressing on something (really). I enjoy a bowl of ice cream like the next person (Ben and Jerry's Half Baked, please) and banana Ice cream isn't ice cream exactly but it does have the same cold creamy deliciousness that makes me crave the stuff. The frozen bananas take on a consistency strangely and delightfully similar to soft-serve but have almost no fat, no dairy, only about 100 calories, and costs pennies since as you might know, bananas are super cheap (I read all about it in Freakonimics).

To score even more cheap-o points, I like to buy a big bag of over ripe bananas (even better for this recipe) for $1 at the bodgea by my apartment. I peel, chop, and freeze the bananas so I always have them on hand. Guilt free ice cream in every aspect! I like to serve mine in a vintage champagne coup and with a demitasse spoon, but that's just because I'm fancy like that. 

[Posted by Rita]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Policy Police

When shopping, you should always have a printed copy of the store coupon policy with you. Here are the printable policies for TargetVON'SRalph's, and Albertsons. CVS does not have a coupon policy online, you must request it from them or you can go here to get the gist (I’ve always wanted to type that word) of their policy.
Here is a quick rundown on each store. Target, I live there. No, I really do. I go so often, I’m surprised they don’t charge me rent (even if they did, I would have a coupon for that too.) Target is awesome because they usually accept printed coupons no problem, AND you can stack coupons (See Vanessa’s amazing article). Target offers the most store coupons which makes couponing there a breeze; a hot, sexy breeze full of amazing deals...

VON'S also accepts printed coupons and allows stacking (but they offer a very limited amount of store coupons for this opportunity.) The one bonus that VON'S offers is "doubling coupons" up to $1.00. So basically, one coupon per item can be “doubled” or have its value increased to $1.00. Coupons that are $1.00 or more will be redeemed at face value. Ralph’s and VON'S coupon policies are almost identical. I like this fact, because then it makes it easier for me to go to the market, and I all I have to do is compare the prices at each store on the item's I need. Ralph’s is where I go for meat, because meat is “Le Expensive” (very expensive in fancy speak) everywhere else.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sweet, Sweet, Sweeping

I feel you are ready for more information, my little sweepers in training.

First, open up a new email account (or use an old email account you have laying around). You will receive a large amount of email everyday and I personally didn't want all of that mixed in with my regular email. I find it makes it easier to separate the junk mail and I know to carefully comb through all email on my "sweeping" account... you never know when you'll get notification of a win or something you have to respond to. I try to go through occasionally and unsubscribe from as many as I can, but I'm not good at keeping up with that. At this point I get about 150 emails a day on my sweeping account. BOOORING.

Ok, not really. Sadly, going home from work to check my email is a highlight of my day. It's so exciting to find a win waiting for me! Going through the emails carefully also helps me keep up with deals and new contests/sweeps.

Some people also get a different phone number... like one of those internet phone message thingies. I didn't bother. Possibly because I'm too lazy, but honestly in the past year of sweeping and using my personal cell number I've only had a few telemarketer calls. How wude. I was hoping to one day get a sexy time message from a stranger.

Got those down? Ok time for a test. I will start you off with one of the websites I feel was easiest to read and navigate when I was first starting out, and is a website that I still check whenever I can. Free Stuff Times breaks down the contests into entry types, gives basic info on each, and expiration date. The link above goes straight to single entry sweeps so you can enter as many as you want, but not worry about the commitment. Gurl, just send him packing when you get bored.

Photo: painting by Pearl Frush, "Pin-up Sweeping"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Drankin' Time

     Many of you have heard about Lot18 by now (a wine website that was generously offering store credits that have slowly disappeared). It was an amazing deal for those of you who were able to get a credit, and I promise, nay, pinky swear, that we will keep you updated if we find future Lot18 deals, but for now there is an alternative: is another new wine website that is giving away $25 store credits with sign up. There seems to be a catch... you can only use the credit towards no more than a third of the purchase price. Ex: on a $9 bottle of wine they will allow you to use $3 of the store credit. Still, I will not complain about getting 30% off. And I most certainly will not complain about booze.
     Let's have some dranks!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Divine Cheapliness

     Cheapliness is next to godliness. Oh, wait, that’s not how it goes?
     I was born cheap. It’s in my blood. Even when I have extra money, it can be hard to let it go. I don’t know exactly why that is… perhaps fear of the unknown. I may need the money at some future date for some scary disaster or shoe emergency.
     The past couple of years I have worked on turning this stingy attitude and desires into a blossoming hobby.  Blossoming. I said it. I thought to myself, “I deserve fun, new, and exciting things. I deserve to go places and be amazing, dammit!” These tiny grubby hands of mine get in the way, but what if I can find ways to have these things I desire without feeling guilty about spending so much of my hard(ly) earned money?

     And then I found sweepstakes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Target Match Up’s for the week of 7/31/11


Axe Shower Gel $4.49
Buy 2 and use Buy 1, Get 1 Free from 7/31 Red Plum insert as well as $1/1 from the product itself (found on most bottles in Target)
Final price: $1.75 each after coupon
Buy 2 and use Buy 1 Get 1 Free from 7/31 Plum insert as well as $1/1 Target printable                      Final price: $1.25 each after coupons      
The Dove Men+Care body wash with bonus deodorant on clearance for $2.78-$1.98                                             Dove Men+Care Body Wash w/bonus Deodorant $2.78
Use Target printable for  $1/1
plus Use $1/1 printable manufacturers coupon or $1/1 Dove Men+Body Wash Coupon from 7/31 Red Plum insert
Final Price: $0.78- FREE

Nivea Skin Firming Moisturizer (13.5 oz)  $12.99
Use $3/1 Nivea Good Bye Celluite Products manufacturer printable coupon as well as $3/1 Nivea Skin Care Item Target printable
Final Price: $6.99ea

Monday, August 1, 2011

Waxing Poetic

These are difficult times for many of us, it poses special challenges for beauty addicts such as myself. A couple of years ago I found myself unemployed, which meant cutting back on certain things. One area that suffered from these budget cuts was the beauty/pampering department. I'm a survivor, and I managed to cope without the overpriced haircuts, facials and spa treatments for the duration of my unemployment. When I started working again I celebrated the fact that I'd be able to splurge on regular haircuts at my favorite salon again, even the occasional facial at a nice spa would be possible. But I knew I had to be smart and needed to find a way to cut corners on some things if I wanted to keep myself looking good without depleting my bank account. I turned to my local drugstores to scour the aisles for thrifty alternatives with more than modest success. This is the tale of how I curbed the cost of a hairy situation.

Stack ‘Em Up: Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun

The coupon world has a language all its own, with abbreviations and terms like BOGO, Peelie and Catalina (not just a tasty salad dressing anymore). My favorite, and one you should familiarize yourself with and embrace, is stacking. Stacking is the act of using both a manufacturer coupon and a store-specific coupon on one item. It is a rare opportunity to use two coupons on one item, and it’s what gets my blood pumping. Not all stores allow stacking, so read your coupon policies carefully. A tip I picked up from another blogger is to print the store’s coupon policy and keep a copy with you when you shop. If a question arises at the check-out, you’ve got your backup right there in your bag.

So how does one get their stack on? It’s simple, and requires only a small amount of organization. First, gather your manufacturer coupons via Sunday paper or the internet. Next, collect store coupons from the store’s website, ad circular, in-store displays, etc., you get the idea. My stacking destination of choice is Target; you can find me roaming the health & beauty aisles on a weekly basis. Target’s coupon page is a great resource for printable store deals. Just log in, and select which coupons you’d like – you can print each one two or three times before reaching the limit, and the site will reset the expiration dates, so don’t max out your print limit right away. Think Donna Martin; take it slow, no need to rush things, just look where that got Brenda.

I like to clip my coupons and keep them organized in a wallet-sized file folder. Through some trial and error, I’ve discovered this works best for me and allows me to flip through them quickly and keep them from getting lost. You figure out what’s best for you and run with it, start small and build from there to keep from getting overwhelmed. Anyway, I go through my stash and match the printed store coupons with my manufacturer coupons, clipping them together so they’re bundled up and ready to go when I hit the store.